Monsoon fails to budge Tamils from sit-in at Indonesian port

Stephen Fitzpatrick; 8/12/09

More than 240 Sri Lankan asylum-seekers staging a sit-in at an Indonesian port are maintaining their protest in the hope of resettlement in Australia, New Zealand or another country, despite worsening conditions on their cargo boat.  The group’s leader, Sanjeev “Alex” Kuhendrarajah, said about 10 per cent of the Tamils on board the Jaya Lestari, moored at Merak in western Java, were eager to give up and come ashore, now that the monsoon season was in full swing and tempers on the vessel were fraying. “The ones who are ready to leave are mainly the ones with children, but they know if they get off this boat they will go into detention in Indonesia, and there is no guarantee how quickly they’ll get any attention once that happens,” Mr Kuhendrarajah said.

See:; Liberals steer to the right on boats; Paul Maley;